The 14 Most Important Things to Look for When Hiring Someone

TSP • @myTSPnet


Companies position themselves for success by finding the right people to fill vital roles. Your IT department is critical because it powers so many of your needs, so you need to be choosy when selecting new team members for it. Hiring managers need to know what to look for when hiring someone to make the best choices for their team.

The top candidates for IT roles should have a good blend of technical and soft skills. Both are necessary for successful project outcomes. When interviewing candidates, you can gauge some of their skills by paying attention to how they respond to your questions. Slow or tentative replies may indicate that the applicant doesn’t understand the question or how to answer it.

Assessing soft skills is also important, but they are sometimes hard to quantify. Before interviewing your top choices, draft a list of questions to ask each person. Develop a scoring model and use it consistently for accurate comparisons.

  1. Technical Skill Sets
    The roles you fill likely require specific skill sets. Many professionals in the IT field focus on certain programming languages, applications or capabilities. An individual’s skill level reflects their amount of experience using that particular skill. If you’re unfamiliar with technical jargon, you may not know what technical skills to look for when hiring someone for a particular role or project. TSP can point you in the right direction.

  2. Familiarity with Your Industry
    Needs, protocols and applications can vary widely across different industries. It’s often a good idea to find people already familiar with your industry to reduce necessary learning curves and training time.

  3. Experience Working on Similar Projects
    Along with familiarity with your general industry, experience working on similar projects typically makes new team members more effective.

  4. Continuing Education
    Technology is evolving rapidly, introducing new capabilities regularly. It’s important to find someone who stays abreast of current developments so you can take advantage of their potential benefits.

  5. Communication
    Every team member must effectively communicate with others in their department, supervisors, stakeholders and clients. Active listening is a necessary skill in addition to verbal and written communication proficiencies.

  6. Attention to Detail
    Particularly for IT positions, attention to detail is an important quality to look for when hiring someone. Missing one piece of data or vital information can result in project delays or failures and other adverse consequences. During interviews, a good way to weed out unsuitable candidates is to purposefully leave out some vital details in a situational question. The candidate should ask for clarification before answering. If they don’t, they likely weren’t paying attention, didn’t understand the question, or didn’t know the right answer.

  7. Business Culture Fit
    Whether you hire someone to work in-house or remotely, it’s important that team members feel comfortable with each other. For example, cultural differences or beliefs and clashing personalities can add unnecessary stress. A cohesive team is usually more effective. You can gauge a candidate’s fit, in part, by their levels of comfort, respect and responsiveness during interviews. You might also conduct group interviews, whether by including existing staff or other applicants, to watch peer interactions.

  8. Flexibility
    Workflows and priorities can change quickly, and your team needs to adapt to evolving requirements. Keeping a cool head and working well under pressure are necessary traits for any IT role.

  9. Enthusiasm
    Confidence, a positive attitude and drive are important qualities to look for when hiring someone, and they all relate to enthusiasm. Workers with these traits are typically more productive themselves and can encourage co-workers to be more productive.

  10. Team Mentality
    Although an individual needs to have the competence and confidence necessary to perform role-related tasks, they should also have a team mentality. This is true even if the person will usually work alone. A willingness to give other team members credit for their contributions while pulling their own weight is a vital balance for the stability of the entire team.

  11. Trustworthiness
    Entrusting someone with access to your company’s systems isn’t a step to take lightly. During interviews, ask candidates to explain work-related mistakes they’ve made and how they addressed them. A background check may reveal red flags that could indicate problems with honesty.

  12. Potential
    The right candidate may not have as much experience or as many technical qualifications as others. Someone’s potential is somewhat difficult to measure but can be an invaluable asset to your company. Training and opportunity can help individuals grow into their potential, so this is a good thing to look for when hiring someone.

  13. Punctuality
    Even if your new hire will work remotely, they need to work on your schedule. Punctuality might mean clocking in on time or completing tasks before deadlines. A consistent lack of punctuality can indicate a lax attitude toward assignments.

  14. Critical Thinking and Creative Problem-Solving
    Whatever your IT-related project, your people may encounter challenges and unexpected problems. An effective team member needs to be able to assess issues and find ways to solve them.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for computer and IT-related occupations should continue growing much faster than the national average until at least 2032. With the high demand in these fields, finding candidates with the right blend of technical qualifications and soft skills may be challenging.

If you don’t know what to look for when hiring, you may not be pleased with your choices. Partnering with a recruitment firm that specializes in providing top-quality IT personnel can give you a distinct advantage and a much better chance of making the right hiring decisions for your company.

TSP is an award-winning, Texas-based company that can help you find and hire talented IT professionals in an average of 24 days. TSP knows what to look for when hiring someone for your specific needs, whether you are looking for additional support for your in-house teams for a short-term project or a more long-term role. Contact TSP today to learn more about our customized solutions and why so many world-class businesses rely on us for their staffing needs.

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